World War II Makin Atoll Marine Raider

30 Oct 1920 1
17 Aug 1942 2
Makin Island 3

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Personal Details

Full Name:
Vernon Leroy Castle 1
30 Oct 1920 1
Male 1
17 Aug 1942 2
Makin Island 2
Cause: Killed in Action 2
Burial Date: 17 Aug 2001 3
Burial Place: Arlington National Cemetery 3
Place: Stillwater, OK 1
Marine Field Muscian 1
Marine Corps Service:
Age at Loss: 21 years old 1
Battles: Makin Island Raid 2
Casualty Date: 17 Aug 1942 2
Conflicts: World War II 2
Decorations: Purple Heart 1
Rank: Field Musician First Class 2
Service #: 307868 2
Unit: 2nd Marine Raiders Battalion 2
CILHI Excavation: Nov 1999 2
Grave Registration Team Investigation: 1949 1
Identification: Central Identification Laborary, Hawaii 2
Identified: 2000 2
JTFFA Investigation: Aug 1998 2
Recovery Site: Makin Atoll 2
Repatriated: 17 Dec 1999 2

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Long Journey Home

Makin Atoll

He was killed during the Makin Island Raid and hastily buried in an unmarked mass grave with other battle casualties by nearby residents.  He remained missing until a Joint Task Force Full Accounting team began investigating a potential burial site on the island.  Advised of the location by island natives, including one claiming to be a member of the 1942 burial party, the team found the grave and began an excavation.  The Central Identification Laboratory was able to recover his remains and identification tags, along with 18 other Marines.  They were returned to the lab and identified in 2000.  He was buried, along with 13 of his comrades, in Arlington National Cemetery on the 59th anniversary of the battle.

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